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Colonel Bratton, Rufus S.

In G-2 (Intelligence) in the War Department in Washington, D.C., the Far Eastern Section was headed by Colonel Rufus S. Bratton. It was this department that read the Japanese codes, interpreting diplomatic messages sent using Purple with the mechanical device known as MAGIC. He assembled the intercepted 14-part message from Tokyo to the Japanese Ambassador in Washington, Kichisaburo Nomura (Nomura, Kichisaburo) before Nomura himself received his decoded version. Testimony on the timing and distribution of the decoded intercept conflicts, but it appears that 13 parts were circulated to key executives by midnight on 6/7 December. The last part, together with another message instructing Nomura to arrange a meeting with the US Secretary of State Cordell Hull (Hull, Cordell) at 1300 hours Eastern Standard Time, was circulated by about 1000 on 7 December, that is 0430 Hawaii time, or perhaps up to an hour later, to members of the government and to General George C. Marshall (Marshall, George C.) the Chief of Staff.

See also: MAGIC; Marshall, George C.; Nomura, Kichisaburo, Nomura; Hull, Cordell

You can find out more about Colonel Bratton in the following Osprey books:

CAMPAIGN 62 Pearl Harbor 1941; MEN-AT-ARMS 342 US Army in WWII (1) The Pacific; MEN-AT-ARMS 70 US Army 1941-45